Portrait from the St. Louis Republic, July 26, 1902.
Today marks a return to profiling an oddly named American diplomat, and Elawson Carry More (a former U.S. Consul General in Mexico City) fits the bill perfectly. An Arkansan by birth, More was widely traveled in his youth, studying abroad in France, Germany, and Spain. Remarked as a "fine classical scholar" with a "rare knowledge of general literature", More spoke multiple languages, practiced law, farmed in Missouri and in the late 1880s was appointed by President Cleveland to a consulship in Mexico. More had earlier served as a two time Democratic National Convention delegate and was a Democratic presidential elector in 1884.
The son of Elijah and Sarah Caroline (Owens) More, Elawson Carry More was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on December 27, 1837. The origins behind More's unusual name remains unknown and his middle name is variously spelled as Carry, Carrie, and Carey (the first given being the most frequent in sources mentioning him.) His last name is also variously given as both More and Moore. His early schooling occurred in the United States and during his youth spent time in Europe, studying in Paris, Cadiz, Spain and in Hanover and Berlin, Germany. More's education in Europe saw him learn multiple languages, "speaking them as well as he did his own", and would later garner a reputation as a man of refined tastes, as well as "a devotee of the finer arts."
Following his return stateside More attended Yale University and after graduating in the class of 1858 began the study of law at the Cumberland Law School in Lebanon, Tennessee. In April 1861 he graduated with his bachelor of laws degree and soon after joined the law firm of Lackland, Cline, and Jamison in St. Louis, Missouri. Elawson C. More married in Nashville, Tennessee in 1862 to Julia Nichol. The couple would have three children prior to divorce in 1869 and four years later More remarried to Elizabeth Hunton Taylor (1842-1918), who would survive him upon his death in 1902.
More's time in St. Louis extended until 1865 when he removed to Helena, Montana Territory to continue his practice. After one year of residence in that territory More removed again, and for the next several months traveled throughout the American West, visiting California, Oregon and also ventured into Central America before finally settling in Columbia, Missouri in 1867. Elawson More practiced law in Columbia until the early 1870s, whereafter he gave up practice and began farming. He would subsequently purchase a farm near Columbia and following improvements began raising stock and "also constructed a ten-acre lake on the farm and stocked it with fish."
Elawson More first ventured into Missouri politics in 1876 when he served as part of the Missouri delegation to that year's Democratic National Convention in St. Louis that saw Samuel Tilden nominated for the Presidency. More would again serve as a delegate in 1892, seeing Grover Cleveland win the White House, and in 1884 was a Democratic presidential elector for Missouri, casting his ballot for Cleveland. More would also hold the post of president of the Missouri State Board of Agriculture in 1878.
In early 1887 President Cleveland appointed More to the post of U.S. Consul General in Mexico City, succeeding James W. Porch, who had been removed. The Butler Weekly Times (by way of the Chicago News) lauded the appointment of More to the post, remarking:
"He is an exceedingly discreet, amiable, cultured and polished man, and his appointment to the Mexican consulship is a distinct gain to the state department service of our government."
From the Butler Weekly Times, February 23, 1887.
More entered into his duties as consul in early 1887 and served until 1889, being succeeded by Richard Guenther, a native of Wisconsin. In 1897 More left Columbia and resumed the practice of law in St. Louis, forming a partnership with Wellington Adams that specialized in "patent, trademark, and copyright law." More's final years were marred by the effects of Bright's disease, and he later died at the home of his stepson in Peoria, Illinois on July 24, 1902, aged 65. He was survived by his wife Elizabeth and following an "unusually long" funeral procession, was interred at the Columbia Cemetery in Columbia, Boone County, Missouri.
More's name was misspelled as "Elanson" in the March 5 1887 edition of Frank Leslie's Weekly.